OS: Ratio

 

With Gwendolyne Rottger

 

DESCRIPTION

OS: Ratio is a new type of operating system.

It creates a direct link between a computer and domestic electric devices inside user’s home. Its main goal is to balance the energy consumption of user’s online activity: sending mails, loading heavy websites, streaming films can be just as energy consuming, as boiling water or lighting a bulb. Seemingly friendly OS: Ratio soon takes full control over domestic landscape: forced to constantly choose between offline and online activity (like reading online or making a toast), user becomes helpless in the face of algorithmic dictatorship.

Video installation,

Publication 29x42 cm

2015

 

 

«Printing this article will consume less energy than further reading»

Electrical devices switch on and off, in attempt to balance their energy consumption with user’s online behavior.

 

 

 

CONTEXT

OS: Ratio was visualized as a part of the research on physicality of the Internet.

Inspired by current developments in eco-friendly data storage and popular claims that «a single data center can take more power than a medium-size town», we began our own investigation: is data indeed as polluting as the whole airplane industry?

 

Facing quite controversial feedback from ecologists, we decided to focus on fostering a discussion on the so-called technological solutionism: obsession with efficiency and problem solving empowered by new technologies without a reflection on whether the problem is relevant or exists in the first place.

 

RESEARCH PUBLICATION

Includes unrealized proposals, interviews with ecologists and with Birgitta Jonsdottir, politician and an activist member of the Icelandic parliament (Pirate Party).